LP Edition of 400
The Believers were, in many way, the flagship band of the Apostasy Recordings empire. Their roots were in the Hampshire College-based experimental outfit, Son of Earth – Flesh in Bone Trio (generally shortened to Son of Earth), via Matt Krefting and John Shaw. Also on board were Anna Klein (player with many woefully under-documented ensembles) and Jessi Swenson, Esq. (who was associated with various Scott Foust projects, and would go on to 50 Foot Women). But much of this other work was abstract weirdo-ism. The Believers were, more or less, a rock band, and they kinda fucking ruled.
They recorded an album for Ben Chasny’s planned label almost a decade ago, but the release never ended up happening, and the Believers split into their component parts not long afterwards. But our memories of their throbbing presence and carefully planned wardrobe choices would overwhelm us some nights, and we’d find ourselves startled awake, covered with sweat, thinking we had missed several important boats by not documenting their passage in the proper way.
In the intervening years, the four Believers have gone off to different pastimes. Some are related to music, some are not. And it took some wheedling on our parts, but we finally got this live LP out of them. And it cooks. One side was recorded in ’04 at the old Flywheel in Easthampton, and provides a rather clear portrait of their sweetly thuggish pop dynamism. The flip was recorded at the same venue in ’06, with guest squeedle provided by Conrad Capistran and Joshua Burkett (aka Tarp). Although we often think of Tarp’s sound as retiring, here it is aggressive. And it adds a strangely perfect width to the droogly and angular lurch of their inventions.
A beautiful album. Long overdue. -Byron Coley, 2016